W51D3 - Communication

"In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the
word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the
heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout
his realm and also to put it in writing: 'This is what Cyrus king of
Persia says: '‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the
kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple
for him at Jerusalem in Judah'" - Ezra 1:1-3.

Cyrus was king of a sprawling kingdom when the Lord moved on his heart to rebuild the Temple site. The first thing Cyrus did was to communicate his plans throughout his kingdom. How did he do that? He first wrote his plans down and then used the social media and technology of his day to disseminate the information to as many people as possible. Leaders must be committed to broadcast their messages as widely as possible on a regular basis, which means they must be good writers who appreciate and utilize the communication media available to them. That also means that leaders must work to stay relevant not only in what they communicate but also in how they communicate it.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to conduct a personal communications audit. How much time do you spend communicating what is most important to you, along with your current insights and ideas? How do you communicate? Do you use the most recent social media? Are you a good writer and speaker or are you working to improve? Do you allow any personal bias to discredit modern technology and its use? Would people say you are an effective communicator?


W46D5 - Personal Development

"And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah:
'This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true
justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner
or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other'" - Zechariah 7:8-10.

Personal development involves spiritual growth and development. In the verses above, the Lord spoke to His people through the prophet and outlined His plan for their development. That plan included: 1) dispensing true justice; 2) showing mercy to others; 3) being moved by compassion; 4) helping the helpless; 5) empowering the powerless; and 6) avoiding plots and plans that do harm to others. Leaders should adopt this outline as a list of personal values they can pursue and express that will make their leadership more tender and sensitive to the needs of other people.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to lay out a plan that includes the points mentioned in today's verses as your leadership development. For today, focus on one of the six points in today's commentary and think of ways you can develop that particular area or practice. For example, if you choose point six, consider how painful it is to 'hatch' plans that affect people's lives without their input - and therefore determine to be more inclusive in your communication with others.


W46D3 - Communication

"I have much to write to you, but I do not
want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope
to visit you and talk with you face to face,
so that our joy may be complete" - 2 John 1:12.

The apostles did not hesitate to use the technology of their day - the Roman road system, ink and scrolls - to communicate their teaching and pastoral advice to their flock all over the known world. Yet in today's verse, John preferred to communicate via a face-to-face encounter as opposed to the written word. Leaders must not only be committed to communicate, they must be willing to use and be proficient in modern technologies. Yet there is still great value in personal meetings, and leaders must not rely too much on technology and eliminate the personal touch that enables them to read body language, tone of voice and other physical clues and cues from those with whom they are communicating.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to evaluate your use of technology in your communication strategy. Are you confident in your proficiency or do you take pride in your refusal to use it? If you are proficient, are you over-using it to the extent that you neglect or avoid personal contact and face-to-face meetings? Do you have a communications strategy, knowing what you want to share with followers, along with how and when you will share it?


W41D3 - Communication

"The Lord said to Moses, 'Speak to the entire assembly
of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord
your God, am holy'" - Leviticus 19:1-2.

It may seem trivial to say, but God is a great communicator and understands how to get His message across. In this verse, He began talking to Moses about what is known as the Ten Commandments. He directed Moses to speak to Israel, then He told Moses to put the message in writing. Then Moses repeated those Commandments, both in speech and written form, so there would be no doubt in Israel what was expected of them and what was important to the Lord. Leaders must follow this example and be clear in their communication. They must be willing 'say' or repeat their message in more than one medium until the meaning takes hold in the minds of the listeners in the way the leader intended.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to examine your ability to communicate the vision or misison of your organization. How often do you talk about the vision or mission? Can people repeat back to you what the vision is? Do you review and repeat to followers what is most important to you and the organization? Do you 'say' those things using more than one medium, like video, articles or staff meetings? How can you be sure that the people are getting the message?


W36D3 - Communication

"The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him
from the tent of meeting. He said, 'Speak to
the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone
among you brings an offering to the Lord,
bring as your offering an animal from either
the herd or the flock'" - Leviticus 1:1-2.

As Israel's leader, Moses received special insight about their mode of worship. This insight was not just for him, but was to be communicated to all the Israelites. Several factors were involved in this communication. First, Israel had to know and trust Moses. Second, Moses had to be clear in his communication. Third, the message had to be communicated to millions of followers, so there had to be reliable lines of clear communication. Finally, Moses both spoke and wrote the communication, and repeated what he taught in one huge review found later in the book of Deuteronomy. Every point is just as relevant and important for modern leaders as they communicate with their followers, regardless of the business they are in.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to evaluate the communication practices of your leadership style. Do you have the credibility and recognition that Moses had that will enhance your messages? Are you clear when you communicate? Do you have lines of communication in your organization through which messages flow quickly to those who need them? Finally, do you say things more than once using multiple media to insure your messages are understood?


W31D3 - Communication

"So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:
'Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your
provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross
the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the
land the Lord your God is giving you for your own'" - Joshua 1:10-11.

Joshua had to communicate to millions of followers and he did so by using others to communicate a clear and simple message: it’s time to move on so get ready. It would follow that these followers not only knew Joshua, but also the officers who were communicating the message to them. They therefore knew the message could be trusted and was important, so all were on the same page, so to speak. Everyone knew to get ready for change. Leaders need to develop this same kind of communication network, this kind of clear and simple message and also work to insure the people are paying attention.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Today's Step is to consider and evaluate your communication network. Are you paying attention to its regular upkeep? Are you credible, consistent, and clear in your communications? Does your leadership team spread the word with the same efficiency and urgency? Are your meetings all they can be as a communication tool? Of course, if you don't have credibility as a leader, then people won't pay attention no matter how regularly you talk.


W26D3 - Communication

"Utterly amazed, they asked: 'Aren’t all these
who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it
that each of us hears them in our native language?'" - Acts 2:8-9.

In Genesis 11, God confused language and people could no longer understand one another. In Acts 2, God reversed that and enabled people to understand one another even though they were speaking different languages. The difference: God got involved and the people were speaking about the things of God. Leaders must also help their people communicate and understand one another so that everyone is on the same page. This can be a time-consuming, frustrating process, but well worth the effort. Those refusing to make the effort resort to orders, edicts and memos, relying on their power to get their way as opposed to building a consensus or allowing people to struggle to obtain understanding and communication breakthroughs.

LEADERSHIP STEP: How much do you involve yourself as a leader in the communication processes in your organization? Do people have access to you for clarification and deeper discussions? Your Step today is to set a time this week for an informal gathering, but the agenda is not of your choosing. Anyone from your department or company can come and they build the agenda of what you will talk about. They can submit topics in advance or simply ask questions.


W21D3 - Communications

"So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible
words with your tongue, how will anyone know
what you are saying? You will just be speaking
into the air" - 1 Corinthians 14:9.

It is important that leaders are clear in their communications with others, and that includes their followers, peers, customers, clients, suppliers and the public at large. This requires that not only the proper words be used, but also that the message leaders communicate is clear - and that they use the appropriate media to relay the message. What's more, leaders must have the credibility that comes with being a role model and having integrity for the message to be believed and received by others.

LEADERSHIP STEP: The only way you can know if you are communicating effectively is to seek feedback from your audience and listeners. One practice you can use is to institute a five-minute wrap up at the end of every meeting you have when everyone gives you feedback on what the group had just decided and who is going to do what by when. Another method is to ask people after a speech or memo to tell you what you just said and the impact on their work or lives.

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W16D3 - Communication

"After this letter has been read to you, see that
it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans
and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea" - Colossians 4:16.

Paul used the technology of his day - letters and the Roman system of roads and ships - to communicate with his followers and inform them of his latest plans and insights. When he sent this particular letter to Colossae, he made sure they would circulate it among the other local churches. The point is that leaders use whatever means possible to spread their 'word' to those who need to hear or can benefit from it. If Paul were alive today, he perhaps would use all the social media channels to disseminate his message. Modern leaders should do the same.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Are you up to speed on the media available to you to communicate with those who need or want to hear from you? Today stop talking about getting with the technology and do it. Get with someone or take the time to learn about and register for Twitter, online conference calling or any other media you could benefit from using. If you have an account for those social media, then spend your time today planning how you will use them effectively.


W11D3 - Communication

"So I sent messengers to them with this reply:
'I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.
Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”'
Four times they sent me the same message, a
and each time I gave them the same answer" - Nehemiah 6:3-4.

Leaders are pulled in many different directions by urgent voices requiring their time and energy. In these verses, Nehemiah's enemies are asking him to interrupt his work to explain himself, his work and his methods. In each case, Nehemiah turned down their request for a meeting, knowing that it would simply be a waste of time. What's more, he did not refuse them personally, but sent emissaries to decline. The point is that Nehemiah had people with whom he had to communicate to get the work done.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It is important that you be communicating with the people who are most important to and for your work. Who are they? And how are you communicating with them? If it's only face-to-face, then you are limiting your influence and impact to a chosen few. Your step today is to choose one means of leadership communication - training, blog, podcast, video, book - and begin to regularly connect with as many people in your leadership world as possible.